Here’s a riddle: Where does the 7-foot-2 offensive lineman set up on the line of scrimmage? Anywhere his coach wants him to. In the case of Madonna High (Weirton, W. Va.) senior Josh Martin, his coach wants him to dominate as a tackle on both sides of the ball, where he towers over all his foes.
As far as Prep Rally can determine, Martin is easily the tallest offensive lineman of significance in the nation. In all likelihood he's the tallest lineman in high school football history (it's an educated guess, but a fair one). In Rivals.com's database for the Class of 2014 there is just one other lineman on either side of the ball who reaches 6-foot-10 -- Cedar Rapids, Iowa offensive tackle Christian Ohrt -- which makes him a full four inches shorter than Martin. The Madonna senior was an all-state selection in 2012 and has received rumored interest from the likes of Nebraska, among other programs, though he is not known to have any firm scholarship offers.
There’s good reason for that interest; 86 inches of it. While Martin is only listed at 290 pounds at the moment, there’s clearly room for him to grow into his sizable frame. As you can guess, Martin also competes on the Madonna basketball team, which has led to some truly unfair images like this one. Still, football is his main sport, as evidenced by his BeRecruited profile, and he'll likely get a chance to play it at the next level.
In the meantime, the jumbo lineman clearly has a competitive streak, as evidenced by his active leadership role during his senior season at Madonna. That particularly rose to the surface during the team’s recent 22-17 victory (it was a wild one!) against Central Catholic High (Steubenville, Ohio). You can see highlights from the game, including Martin's blocking, right here.
With Madonna quarterback Ross Comis struggling with a shoulder injury and the team trailing by 9 at halftime, Martin stepped forward to put his team’s on-field general at ease.
"I gave him a hug and told him I got his back," Martin told the Weirton Daily Times. "He has the biggest heart on that field and it's an honor to play with him. I love him."
At 7-foot-2, there may be a gaggle of college coaches who have yet to see Martin play falling in love with his potential as well. Comis may have explained why more succinctly than anyone else.
"Josh just came up to me at halftime and said, 'I'll protect you.' Anytime you get a guy that's 7-foot tall in front of you, you feel pretty safe."
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